November of the Soul: The Enigma of Suicide

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Simon and Schuster, Feb 21, 2006 - Psychology - 640 pages
Written with the same graceful narrative voice that made his bestselling National Book Award finalist The Big House such a success, George Howe Colt's November of the Soul is a compassionate, compelling, thought-provoking, and exhaustive investigation into the subject of suicide. Drawing on hundreds of in-depth interviews and a fascinating survey of current knowledge, Colt provides moving case studies to offer insight into all aspects of suicide -- its cultural history, the latest biological and psychological research, the possibilities of prevention, the complexities of the right-to-die movement, and the effects on suicide's survivors.

Presented with deep compassion and humanity, November of the Soul is an invaluable contribution not only to our understanding of suicide but also of the human condition.

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User Review  - worldsedge - LibraryThing

Parts of this book were very well done, parts were dated and/or downright silly. The best section was the historical overview of suicide and the last portion of the book relating to the anguish of survivors. Read full review

November of the soul: the enigma of suicide

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Though the adolescent suicide rate has fallen since 1991, 87 Americans still kill themselves on an average day. Such sobering statistics form the basis of this well-researched, readable, and even ... Read full review


Preface to the First Edition
The Slot Machine
You Could Save a Life
The Rock of the Forefathers
He Is at Liberty to
It Is His Case It May Be Thine
A Fate Worse Than Death
Your Good End in Life Is Our Concern
The Limits Are Obscure and Every Errour Deadly
A Model Hemlock Couple
Merryl and Carl
The Mark of Cain
The Torture Chamber
The OerFraught Heart

Moral Medicine and Vital Statistics
Faith Hopelessness and 5HIAA
Social Studies
Life or Liberty
The Jigsaw Puzzle
The Building Blocks
Merryl and Carl
Selected Bibliography

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Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 240 - words from A Tale of Two Cities: "It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.
Page 240 - note: I have long determined that the best thing I could do was to put an end to the existence of a being whose birth was unfortunate and whose life has only been a series of pains to those persons who have hurt their
Page 530 - Although we know that after such a loss the acute stage of mourning will subside, we also know that we shall remain inconsolable and will never find a substitute. No matter what may fill the gap, even if it be filled completely, it nevertheless remains something else.
Page 160 - subtitled: A Declaration of that Paradoxe, or Thesis, that Self-homicide is not so Naturally Sinne, that it may never be otherwise. Wherein The Nature, and the extent of all those Lowes, which
Page 48 - If youth is the season of hope, it is often so only in the sense that our elders are hopeful about us; for no age is so apt as youth to think its emotions, partings, and resolves are the last of their kind,
Page 223 - Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do.
Page 225 - Good creatures, do you love your lives And have you ears for sense? Here is a knife like other knives, That cost me eighteen pence. I need but stick it in my heart And down will come the sky, And earth's foundations will depart And all you folk will die.
Page 159 - his hand did quake / And tremble like a leafe of Aspin greene, / And troubled bloud through his pale face was scene / To come, and goe with tydings from the hart, / As it a running messenger had beene.
Page 157 - Thou, constrained by no limits, in accordance with thine own free will, in whose hand We have placed thee, shalt ordain for thyself the limits of thy nature
Page 189 - What is now holding sway in the super-ego is, as it were, a pure culture of the death instinct, and in fact it often enough succeeds in driving the ego into death.

References to this book

About the author (2006)

George Howe Colt is the bestselling author of The Big House, which was a National Book Award finalist and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Brothers; November of the Soul; and The Game. He lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife, the writer Anne Fadiman.

Bibliographic information